Food Prices Will Rise, USDA Report Says

The price of food items such as beef, pork and dairy products is expected to stay high through the end of the year and into 2013, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast released Friday.

The Midwest drought, the worst in decades, has driven up corn and soybean prices, which, in turn, caused retail food prices to rise.

The July’s food price outlook, compiled monthly by the USDA, was largely unchanged from the month before, forecasting the price of all food to rise between 2.5% and 3.5% through the end of the year.

Next year, the department predicts that food prices will rise by as much as 4% as the effects of the drought become more pronounced on the nation’s food supply.

For many food items, the report was largely unchanged but still elevated.

  • Beef and veal will rise between 3.5% and 4.5% in 2012, and by as much as 5% next year.
  • Pork will rise between 2% and 3% this year, and up to 3.5% next year.
  • Dairy products will rise by 3% this year and 4.5% next year.

Reprinted from The Los Angeles Times (August 24 2012)